The Usenet is founded on a pull paradigm,
while mailing lists are founded on a push paradigm.
The Usenet and mailing lists are similar message sharing technologies,
enabling one person to share information with many others. For
example, the BITNET was a long-standing
community of mailing lists that shared their message traffic with
the Usenet under the "bit." hierarchy.
However, mailing lists and the Usenet have real differences in
the amount of interaction required by the user, as described below:
- Push. Mailing lists are based on a push paradigm, which means they
require little interaction from the user, since messages are automatically
to their mailbox and can be read as they arrive.
- Pull. The Usenet is based on a pull paradigm requiring active engagement
by the user, where people actively choose the newsgroups and messages they
wish to read each time they log on.
Both mailing lists and the Usenet can be moderated, where messages posted
to the list or newsgroup are first checked by a human to ensure they are
appropriate. However, newsgroups can also be "retro-moderated", where messages
deemed to be off-topic or otherwise inappropriate can be removed after they
are already posted, which can't be done with mailing lists.